The Exorcist, Fox’s frightening movie-to-TV anthology series about the fragile barrier between this life and the next, really hit the ground running in its first year with a 10-part story involving one family’s case of demonic possession.
Loosely based on William Peter Blatty’s novel – itself a sequel to the 1973 classic of the same name – The Exorcist finished up its second season late last year and despite another strong batch of ambitious episodes that showed a lot of promise, we’re now hearing that it may be getting the axe. And that’s pretty surprising, given that everyone involved seemed pretty gung-ho about it just this past summer.
If you recall, back at Comic-Con, Jeremy Slater and Sean Crouch – series creator and co-executive producer, respectively – revealed that The Exorcist could span “six or seven seasons” by adhering to the anthology format. That is, each new season would center on a different story.
You can’t tell a seven-year story about one family that just keeps getting possessed over and over again without the audience starting to hate you for putting one family through so much shit. So the idea is every year we’ll have a different case, we’ll have a different sort of possessed individual and different family, and but it’s Marcus and Thomas — our priests, our recurring characters — that you’re gonna follow and have that investment with.
Now, however, things have changed. Talking to Deadline in a recent interview, FOX Television Group CEO Gary Newman said that The Exorcist is “clearly a show that’s on the bubble,” when it comes series that are still awaiting a renewal. Continuing on, he said that its Friday slot made it tough to find an audience, explaining:
“We had hoped that we would be able to tap into a moviegoing crowd who didn’t want to go out to the movies… and we did get some viewership. I thought the show was incredibly well produced, the stories were great.”
So, while it’s not cancelled just yet, things certainly don’t sound too good for The Exorcist. And while it’s far from a perfect show, it really would be a shame if Slater and Crouch end up being denied the chance to continue telling their story. There’s a lot to like about what they’ve done so far and as such, we’re hopeful Fox makes the right decision and hands down the renewal.